Lamayuru Gompa , Monastery, Ladakh

 Lamayuru is one of the largest and oldest gompa in Ladakh, situated in Kargil district on Srinagar- Leh highway at a height of 3510 meters,127 km from Leh about 15 Km from Fotu-La, it was originally the Bonpo Monastery   called gYung-drung Monastery, a Swastika symbol and  gYung drung bon  is the name of the Bon religion , The Maha Sidhachrya Naropa founded the Lamayuru Monastery , he was a Buddhist scholar from Nalanda University who came here in search for his guru Tilopa, a master of Tantra,  the oldest temple  Seng-ge-sgang  was built by Monk Rinchen Zangpo who came from Tibet , great translator of Sanskrit Buddhist texts into Tibetan, he under the patronage  from  King of Ladakh founded 108 Gompas in Ladakh, Spiti , Kinaur and Zanskar region.

Lamayuru Gompa ( Monastery)

The monastery is made up of a number of shrines and also has a very rich collection of thankas and magnificent wall paintings.

The Dukhang (Assembly hall) is on the right side of the courtyard  with a colourful depiction of the Guardians of the Four Directions. The mural on the left wall of the verandah depicts the proper way for a lama to live ,The temple has an image of Vairocana or the Teaching Buddha is seated on a lion serving as a throne and a Garuda (mythical bird) and sea monsters surround his head . In the wall on the right side of the Dukhang is a small cave with three statues known as Naropa’s cave, where he is supposed to have meditated ,  other two statues are of Marpa (Naropa’s student who became a translator of religious texts and famous poet) and Mila Ras-pa (Marpa’s student and a spiritual head of the red-hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism). The right side of the Dukhang has three complete sets of the Kandshur (the 108 volumes of Buddha’s teachings)

Lamayuru Gompa Assembly hall


Stupas at Lamayuru Gompa

Legend is that this valley there use to be a lake  at the time of Sakyamuni (the Historical Buddha). Nags (holy serpents) used to reside in the lake. Bodhisattva Madhyantaka pridicted that  the lake would eventually be dried, making way for the construction of a Buddhist monastery.  Maha Siddhacharya Naropa,  meditated for years in one of the caves  , a crack developed in the hillside surrounding the lake. When the lake dried out he found a dead  tiger, he constructed the first temple at this site , known as the Singhe Ghang (Lion Mound).  Later, Dharmaraja Jamyang Namgial offered the monastery to Chosje Danma and started  observance of the rituals of the Digung Kargyud School, the monastery was  renamed as Yungdrung Tharpaling. At present the Lamayuru Monastery is served by the successive reincarnations of Skyabsje Toldan Rinpoche.

Mahasidhacharya Naropa meditated in this cave

Lamayuru Gompa plays host a masked dance, The Yundrung Kabgyad festival which takes place on the 17th and 18th day of the 5th month of Tibetan lunar calendar which falls in the month of July. The monks from the monasteries of the nearby areas also come to take part in the celebrations.

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Ladakh Best dates to travel in year 2012

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Ladakh the beautiful landscape is one of the best places on earth unspoilt , nature at its best , crystal clear water lakes , snow-covered peaks of the great Himalayas  the clear blue sky , the highest roads in the world , over one thousand-year old monasteries , snow desert , the double hump camel,  the Indus river who has given birth to Indian civilization , age-old customs and the ever warm welcoming Ladakhi people who brave through the harsh weather throughout the year .

Ladhaki Shepherd Lady


Ladakh  is the cold desert of India is accessible to the world through out the year by air , the land route is open from May to October when it is comparatively warm and the high passes from Kashmir the Zozi – la ( 3528 mtrs)  and Fotu – la ( 4108 mtrs) are open and from Himachal little late and closes little early as the road passes through Rotang – la ( 3978 mtrs) , Baralacha – la ( 4892 mtrs.), Lachulung – la ( 5059 mtrs.)  and Tanglang  – la ( 5325 mtrs) .

One can visit Ladakh in Summers May to October to enjoy its beauty but if it is the festival period then the Ladakh is the best to visit following are the dates and festivals in the year 2012


Names of the Festival Venue   2012  
Spitok Gustor Spituk   JAN 21,22  
Dosmoche Leh ,Likir & Deskit Monasteries   FEB 19,20  
Stok Guru Tse-Cue Stok Monastery   Mar 2,3  
Matho Nagrang Matho Monastery   Mar 7,8  
Buddha Purnima Leh   MAY 4  
Hemis TSE-CHU Hemis Monastery   JUN 29,30  
Yuru Kabgyat (Lamayuru) Lamayuru Monastery   JUNE 16,17  
Zanskar Karsha Gustor Karsha Monastery   JUL 16,17  
Ph-Yang Tsedup (Phyang) Phyang Monastery   JUL 16,17  
Korzok Gustor (Tsomoriri Lake) Korzok Monastery   JUL 22,23  
Dak-Thok Tse-Chu Dakthok Monastery   JUL 28,29  
Sant Naro Nasjal (Zangskar) Sani Monastery, Zanskar   AUG 1,2  
Shachukul Gustor Shachukul Monastery   JUL 5,6  

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